GWS Giants club chairman Tony Shepherd says his club’s double weekend triumph over local rivals Sydney proves they are the real deal and one of his key players says there’s plenty of improvement to come.
The Giants followed up a 36-point AFL preliminary final win over Sydney on Saturday with a four-point victory in the NEAFL grand final on Sunday.
“A great double-header, beating the minor premiers and now winning the NEAFL reserves competition has just capped off a wonderful weekend,” Shepherd told AAP.
“It’s not make believe, it’s not a fluke of circumstances, we are a real deal.”
Key forward Jeremy Cameron, who kicked four goals, including three in a match tilting five minute burst in the third quarter of Saturday’s win, hinted at even more to come from GWS.
“I think there’s a huge upside still to be had as a team,” Cameron said on Sunday.
GWS enjoyed decisive home wins in the regular season over both of their potential preliminary final opponent’s Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs, but Cameron anticipated a big rise in intensity for the game at Spotless Stadium on Saturday week, irrespective of who they played.
“It’s probably going to go up another level again, so it’s going to be a completely different ball game,” Cameron said.
“We’ll take confidence from those (earlier) games but we still have to make sure we rock up and perform on the night.”
Cameron has had an uneven season despite kicking 53 goals, but said he would take confidence after getting the better of Sydney’s All Australian defender Dane Rampe.
“Dane is a really, really good player and the last few times he’s really got me, I feel,” Cameron said.
Asked if his game was coming to the boil at the business end of the season Cameron said “I’d like to think so.”
He agreed the Sydney rivalry had gone to another level with the brutal intensity of the qualifying final.
The match review panel might look at incidents involving veterans Steve Johnson and Shane Mumford, but Cameron was hoping the fact the Sydney players concerned, Josh Kennedy and Kurt Tippett, played out the game might help his GWS teammates.
He said Mumford’s robust style inspired the rest of the Giants.
“He’s pretty physical in there and the guys really grow off the back of that and even as a forward line player, you look up the ground and you see him chasing people,” Cameron said.
“For his size it really lifts you and makes you look silly at times when he’s flying across the ground.
“He’s been massive for us this year.”